The DURANGO Herald

By Dale Rodebaugh Herald staff writer

The five kayakers, including three Durango men, who called for emergency help Monday while on the way to a river in the Central Asian nation of Tajikistan, were found safe Thursday. One was ill.

Durangoan Ben Luck, suffering from hypothermia and altitude sickness, was airlifted to the U.S. embassy in Dushanbe, the Tajik capital, said Julia Klema, speaking from her parents’ home in Durango. Her brothers Matthew and Nathan Klema are among the kayakers.

To reach the Muksu River, the kayakers had to cross Takhtakorum Pass, which is listed as 16,800 feet in elevation.

Klema said her father, Tom, was notified of the rescue at 3 a.m. today or 2 p.m. in Tajikistan. The search for the men was coordinated by GEOS Alliance, an emergency-response service, which alerted the Klema family of the call for help Monday.

The U.S. State Department in Washington said in a statement issued Thursday, “We are pleased to report that the U.S. citizen kayakers in Tajikistan have been located. One U.S. citizen requested consular assistance, which the U.S. embassy in Dushanbe provided. We cannot provide further details regarding the group due to privacy considerations.”

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